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B. Bravo’s Top Ten Influences

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Photo by Trevor Traynor

“A song can have all the bass in the world, but if there is no soul in it, it’s worthless,” says San Francisco’s B. Bravo aka Adam Mori, cited by the likes of Dam-Funk as one of the driving forces of the West Coast Modern Funk Movement. His insanely future funked remix of K.P & Envyi’s “Swing My Way” caught a lot of people off guard. Or maybe it was “Computa Love” or his “Analogue Starship” EPs that should have blatantly featured guest vocals from Snoop. Working with that other West Coast boss—Paul Salva and the Frite Nite crew, B. Bravo’s productions and live show (talk box included) have been slaying sweaty masses from San Francisco to this year’s Sonar festival for Red Bull Music Academy. From future boogie to synth-laden, dubstep-tweaked, juggernaut beats, Bravo’s thickset approach is hefty, weighty and certified authentic.

B. Bravo “Kiss & Tell” EP out soon on Earnest Endeavours.

These were the first songs that came to mind when I thought about timeless tracks that have helped shape my sound. -B. Bravo

Sylvia Striplin/Roy Ayers “Look Towards the Sky” (Uno-Melodic)
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The entire 'Give me you Love' album has some of my favorite Roy Ayers productions. His use of strings and Rhodes and synths is really what music is all about for me. After the intro, the beat breaks and the squeaky octave jumping synth line comes in and brings in the main song. Such a classic soul groove! Her vocals are so light but still so rich with feeling. Perfection.

Herbie Hancock “Chameleon” (CBS)
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This was one of the first 'funk' style songs I learned when I was studying Jazz as a kid. Unforgettable melody. The rubbery synth bass Herbie plays is so distinct and his spaced-out experimental solo really opened my eyes to the power and magic in synthesizers. It made me want to get an Arp Odyssey.

George Clinton/Parliament/Bernie Worrell “Theme from the Black Hole” (Casablanca)
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Featuring 'The One' aka 'The Funk'. 'How else can you capture a boogie, if you don't attack from the Back!?' He asks! I discovered this on one of the first P-funk records I got. Couldn't believe the bursting sound of the handclaps and the ridiculously funked out 'flashlight' style Moog Bass from Bernie. This was a staple in my first DJ gigs and on my college radio show 'The Funkiness Continues'. We used to call this style track a 'funk bomb'.

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John Coltrane “Giant Steps” (Atantic)
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My dad used to play this song for me. It's one of his favorites. What can I really even say about 'Giant Steps'? It means something special to a lot of people. I remember when I first got my saxophone, trying to play along with it in the kitchen and my dad cheering me on telling me to play in between the lines Coltrane was playing. I was thinking how is he doing that!? Just flying. Really one of the ultimate jazz songs to me. Its crazy to hear the alternate takes when its straight cooking on an epic solo and then Coltrane stops the take to talk the guys through the next parts. Such an important piece of musical history for me.

Marvin Gaye/Leon Ware “After the Dance” (Instrumental Version) (Tamla)
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This is from my favorite Marvin Gaye album. The Leon Ware production is so sensual. This version has the pulsating pillowy synth solo floating over the whole thing just playing with the melody over that moody late night groove. The synth tone is so expressive and influential to me. What a vibe. I just envision candlelight and shadows and smooth skin.

Snoop Dogg/Dr. Dre “Who Am I (What’s my Name)?” (Deathrow)
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Obviously a big, big song. This was the straight anthem to me and my friends in school. My brother had the 'Doggystyle' cassette tape. Dre borrowing George Clinton and basically creating the whole G-Funk genre/ bringing it to the mainstream. Snoop's solo debut - so smooth but pure DIRTY funk! Cymbal crashes every two bars. Straight P-Funk style. This was kind of my indirect introduction to funk. I remember just being like 'what is THIS!?' How does he get those sounds? The video was sick too.

Lucy Pearl/Battlecat “You” (EMI)
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Battlecat is simply one of the best producers from the west coast. Definitely a huge influence. He has a way of making the drums and bass bounce so hard and then he gets all melodic over it with the keys and synths. I love his use of call and response between the different instruments/parts. His whole approach to music is really organic and soulful.

Rick James “Ghetto Life” (Gordy)
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As huge and famous as Rick James is and was, I still feel he is underrated. I think a lot of people get caught up thinking about his wild lifestyle off-stage/ out of the studio and over-look his true genius. This is my favorite song from the Street Life album. I remember first hearing it on the record when the strings and horns come in and going 'yeah, this is what its all about!'

Zapp “Doo Wah Ditty” (Warner Bros)
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This is one of those records that never really leaves my DJ bag. Such a feel good dancefloor banger. The synth bass fall in the intro just glides right down into a classic Roger and Zapp funk bomb. Gotta love the harmonica riffs and the talkbox. I get this song stuck in my head for days at a time. Reminds me of growing up and seeing guys in low-riders with the tops down just bumpin' this kinda stuff. Just makes you wanna start poppin' & lockin'!

E-40/Too Short/K-Ci/Ant Banks “Rappers Ball” (Jive)
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Gotta rep this one for the Bay. Straight player shit. Ant Banks absolutely kills the production on this. Slumps so hard and has the sharp pianos and synth riffs. The bassline is just relentless. So simple but crazy. Bay Area house party anthem. K-Ci adds the signature hook, 40-Water and Too-Sheezy lay down the classic mob verses.

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